Reading through the Bible together
Not all church members are created equal. Some are just plain problematic. That was just as true in the apostle John’s day as it is in ours. There were some members in his congregation who were claiming to be church members in regular standing even though they were walking “in darkness.” Such were, the apostle asserts, living a lie (v. 6).
Their problem seems to be multifaceted, but we begin to get glimpses of it in verse 7, which indicates that they were not in harmony with the rest of the congregation. Perhaps for good reason, for in the next verse we find that they were claiming to be living without sin; to be beyond committing even sinful acts.
John saw right through such people. In verse 8 he just plain calls them liars and in verse 10 he says such claims make God a liar. After all, God is quite convinced that “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:24), as Paul drives home in the first half of Romans 3 with a massive sheaf of Old Testament quotations.
The good news in relation to the claim of the “sinless” ones is that it gave John an opportunity to set forth the gospel of forgiveness. “If we confess our sins,” he tells us, “he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
One thing I like about John is that he is able to find something helpful in even bad situations. There must be a lesson in that attitude for me.